In late 2018, several lawsuits revealed that many major cruise and airlines have utilized deceptive practices around the insurances policies they offer, causing an uproar in the travel community. In response, travel insurance experts at Yonder Travel Insurance analyzed travel insurance policies offered by cruise lines, airlines, and those purchased directly through a comparison site or travel insurance provider.
Yonder discovered travel insurance bought through a comparison site or online provider typically offers exceedingly more coverage at a fraction of the cost. In comparison to a general retail policy, cruise or airline policies provided some noteworthy discrepancies, such as:
- 5-10 times less coverage for emergency medical expenses
- 10-30 times less emergency medical evacuation coverage
- 15-18 less trip cancellation reasons
While most major cruise and airline policies include the most basic coverage, many lack the ability to add or increase coverage. Some standard categories typically not offered with cruise and airline insurance policies are security evacuation, missed connections, and change fees.
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Insurance from cruises and airlines also usually lacks reasons to cancel. For example, if travelers who opt for cruise or airline insurance suddenly need to cancel or leave their destination for reasons that don’t fall within their insurance policy, they will lose their nonrefundable payments or have to cover all related expenses out-of-pocket.
To break down actual costs, Yonder devised common travel scenarios and calculated insurance costs for each.
For a family of four going on a week-long vacation with a total trip cost of $6,000:
- Insurance through a cruise line may cost up to $1,800.
- An airline’s travel insurance would cost around $550.
- Insurance through a comparison site or direct with the provider would only cost $144.
For an elderly couple traveling for a week with a total trip cost of $8,000.
- A cruise line’s insurance would cost around $1,200.
- An airline’s travel insurance would cost around $760.
- General travel insurance would only cost $550.
At the end of the day, every traveler should be able to easily access travel insurance that offers them full coverage at a fair price. Turns out it pays (literally) to compare policies instead of choosing the default option provided by cruise lines or airline companies.